Werth hits 3 HRs to bury Blue Jays
Philadelphia journeyman outfielder Jayson Werth enjoyed a career night on Friday in front of the home crowd and his old team at Citizens Bank Park, smacking three home runs as the Phillies drubbed the Toronto Blue Jays 10-3.
Werth knocked in eight of his team's runs on the night in the interleague game, tying the franchise record set by Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt. He had hit just one home run in his previous 15 games and 39 overall in 359 career outings.
"Anything can happen on any given day, I guess," Werth said. "This game is crazy. It's not like I was trying to do anything like that. It just happened. I don't know what else to say. It's just crazy."
Werth, who played 41 games for Toronto in 2002-03, has a penchant for getting hot at the plate. Last year, he got a hit in nine consecutive trips to the plate for the Phillies, one shy of the National League record.
Rookie Toronto starter David Purcey (0-1) yielded two of Werth's homers and eight runs overall in just three innings. Purcey walked four batters and has now given 11 free passes in just under eight innings pitched in the majors.
"It was only his second big-league start and it's not easy," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. 'He'll get over the nerves."
Werth hit a solo shot in the fifth off Jesse Litsch, who was pressed into relief duty. Werth battled hard in the seventh in a bid to tie the major-league record of four homers in a game, but Toronto reliever Brian Tallet was able to induce a pop-up after seven pitches.
"Hitting a home run was probably on my mind," Werth said of his fourth at-bat. "I was just looking for a good pitch to hit."
Veteran Philadelphia starter Jamie Moyer, 45, was able to cruise with more than enough run support, going 6 2/3 innings for the win.
Moyer (4-2) allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking a pair of batters.
Alex Rios, Scott Rolen and Marco Scutaro drove in Toronto's runs.
Phillies up by 8 after 3 innings
After pitching a spotless first, Purcey walked Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell to begin the second. Werth took a 2-1 curveball over the right-field wall for a 3-0 Philadelphia lead.
The Phillies were up by eight runs by the end of three. Purcey allowed three hits and walk to start the third, with Howard knocking in Jimmy Rollins with a single. Purcey walked Burrell again, and Werth then cleared the bases with a grand slam to right.
"When you have balls over the plate, he's a good hitter and he's going to hit them," Purcey said. "I was just trying to make a perfect pitch and fell behind on them."
Toronto got two back in the top of the fourth. Rios got his 17th run batted in with a double to score Aaron Hill, and was brought home himself on Rolen's base hit.
Litsch, 5-1 as a starter, gave up three doubles in as many innings. Rollins and Victorino hit consecutive doubles in the sixth to make it 10-2, one inning after Werth's solo shot to left-centre.
"I hit an off-speed pitch and it was one of those things where everything clicked," Werth said of his homer off Litsch.
Scutaro brought Lyle Overbay across in the seventh with a hit, but Philadelphia's Chad Derbin and Clay Condrey were effective in relief to prevent further damage.
Moyer was pleased with his start.
"I felt like I threw the ball a lot better than I have recently," Moyer said. "We won and that's the most important part."
Werth had a chance to become the 16th man in history to hit four home runs in one game. Three of the previous players to accomplish the feat were Phillies, the last being Schmidt in 1976. Carlos Delgado, while playing for Toronto in 2003, was the last major-leaguer to do it.
A.J. Burnett (3-4) is scheduled to take the mound for Toronto on Saturday night, with Philadelphia countering with Adam Eaton (0-1).
With files from the Associated Press